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Can An Actor Just Get Up And Start?
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Imagine being up on stage in front a crowd of people, a closed envelope in hand and no clue as to what is coming your way. You slowly open the envelope and read what’s written on the papers inside and your expression changes from ‘lost’ to ‘shocked’ in a matter of just 20 seconds. Yes, it’s a script and you are supposed to perform on it in front of the live audience looking up at you. Yes! Without any preparation; it’s gotta be that ways!
This is exactly what the play ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ is made of. The play is written by Nassim Soleimanpour, and although it has been a global hit, it has had its own set of controversies to handle. Soleimanpour wrote the play over seven years in his 20s when he was unable to obtain a passport for refusing to do military service. Many made the assumption that he was critiquing his own country, but his approach to theatre-making is subtler and trickier than that. Nassim however, denies that. Nonetheless, the grapevine is always interesting to know!
Yes, this is a play that is masked in mystery. And the demand for secrecy comes straight from the playwright. Yes, it is directly between the actor and the audience- no vision of the director, no design from the production house, and none of those irksome technical histrionics. It’s pure live theatre!
The unique idea originated to Nassim from a belief that is equally unique. “Who says that we need rehearsals? An actor can just get up and start." Yes, that’s the one we are talking about. As a person, he has always been fascinated with the idea of making and understanding theatre in his own unique way- a way that is different from the existing. Coming from a literary background, also helped Nassim strengthen his this belief. His father is a novelist, his mother a painter; growing up, he says, he was rarely able to finish a book before they told him the ending.
A humble man that he is, being disturbed about the controversies that surround his theatrical genius is just human. “I have been lucky to have had very good reactions from audiences, producers and actors around the globe. But sometimes, people just say, 'This is a linear story of a poor person who lives in Iran and his situation.' I'm like, oh my God, that's not what we're talking about."
Nonetheless, this man’s masterpiece has tempered with the rules of theatre and has yet managed to be a global hit. This just goes on to prove that if you are confident about being different than nothing can stop you from climbing the rungs of the ladder of success.
With the play making its presence felt on the Mumbai soil, and with tickets being available on all leading platforms online, it’s time to go and find out what the hype is all about. Yes, the names of the artists performing will also be disclosed; so that you are not in for an unexpected surprise.
In closing, Nassim has just one thing to say for his desire to keep experimenting. “It's a gift. There is no guarantee: you're taking a risk. So I hope I can keep risking my credits, my ideas, my everything."
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